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Lee C. McIntyre

Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. He is the author of Laws and Explanation in the Social Sciences: Defending a Science of Human Behavior.

Titles by This Author

The Case for a Science of Human Behavior

During the Dark Ages, the progress of Western civilization virtually stopped. The knowledge gained by the scholars of the classical age was lost; for nearly 600 years, life was governed by superstitions and fears fueled by ignorance. In this outspoken and forthright book, Lee McIntyre argues that today we are in a new Dark Age—that we are as ignorant of the causes of human behavior as people centuries ago were of the causes of such natural phenomena as disease, famine, and eclipses. We are no further along in our understanding of what causes war, crime, and poverty—and how to end them—than our ancestors. We need, McIntyre says, another scientific revolution; we need the courage to apply a more rigorous methodology to human behavior, to go where the empirical evidence leads us—even if it threatens our cherished religious or political beliefs about human autonomy, race, class, and gender. Resistance to knowledge has always arisen against scientific advance. Today's academics—economists, psychologists, philosophers, and others in the social sciences—stand in the way of a science of human behavior just as clerics attempted to block the Copernican revolution in the 1600s. A scientific approach to social science would test hypotheses against the evidence rather than find and use evidence only to affirm a particular theory, as is often the practice in today's social sciences. Drawing lessons from Galileo's conflict with the Catholic church and current debates over the teaching of "creation science," McIntyre argues that what we need most to establish a science of human behavior is the scientific attitude—the willingness to hear what the evidence tells us even if it clashes with religious or political pieties—and the resolve to apply our findings to the creation of a better society.

Titles by This Editor

This is the first comprehensive anthology in the philosophy of social science to appear since the late 1960s. Covering all of the major areas in the discipline, it will serve as the standard source for scholarship in the field and could be used as the basis for an entire course.The anthology offers one complete, convenient, and well-chosen selection of readings, plus three specially commissioned articles that encompass the entire range of topics in the field and cover both sides of currently hot debates about explanation, methodological individualism, and the special sciences. The introductions to each section provide a map through the discipline.Michael Martin is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Lee C. McIntyre is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University.Sections cover: Explanation, Prediction, and Laws. Interpretation and Meaning. Rationality. Functional Explanation. Reductionism, Individualism, and Holism. Objectivity and Values. Problems of the Special Sciences.Commissioned articles: Taylor on Interpretation and the Sciences of Man Michael Martin. Microfoundations of Marxism, D. Little. Evidential Constraints: Pragmatic Empiricism in Archaeology, A. Wylie.